Thursday, April 17, 2014

When Hope Floats Away



I sat down tonight to write about tacos and books.
I thought I had things to say about the way we're nourished, and about the plain way we celebrate.

But those words drifted out to the sea of everything weighing my today, and I'm still standing here ankle-deep in grit, facing a horizon-line that can't be contained in the span of my two hands.

The world just seems big today, and I prefer it small.
It feels heavy and I want feather-light.

If I were a nobler girl, I'd pin this funk on Holy week and tell you my heart is pulsing backwards-bruised to that single moment in history when the world went black and every living thing held its breath in despair.

Truth is, I'm caught in a net of ordinary worry, carrying burdens that came packaged with some of the best gifts I'll ever see this side of Heaven.

I'm tangled up here, desperate to shuck this pain and swing my leg over the side of the boat. I don't want this bland reality. I want waves beneath my toes like a smooth path of river rocks, my eyes locked on Jesus. I want to do better than Peter, not just match him.

I want all the Bible stories about faith for me. I'd like to back myself up to the flannel-board until it grabs me and I only move in the right direction, standing still and smiling, a lesson of His goodness, his unfailing kindness, his strength, his power.

I believe all of those things. I know He is always good, only and ever.

But the feeling - the sureness - has sifted through my hands today and I'm cornered in the
human-beingness of this world I knock around in. From where I stand today, everything looks so precarious, the strength of my exhale enough to tip the glass off the edge - shattered.

This is the ache of discipleship, friends. This is the power it holds - that our feeble, everyday act of shuffling down the buckled sidewalk with another soul could eventually break our hearts. Any ground we make together might end up jack-hammered into street pulp. Every victory might turn around and bite.

I wish I could love perfectly, like God does, exempt of fear and full of hope.
Some days, I dare to think I'm half-way to close.

But these gray Thursdays roll around, and I know He understands. He didn't ask us to love our neighbor as robots or avatars, or to lurch behind them at a wise distance. He asked us to come beside them, our knees grinding the asphalt, and heave their timber onto our backs. He asked us to hand over our last pieces of bread and let him create magic for all of us.

He made us human. To level the field a bit, he practiced our part for a while.
He hasn't forgotten the way things hurt. He sat in the garden alone, grieved beneath the weight I feel right now times the Universe.

He asks me to hand over my last shard of hope and watch him shape it into a sturdy life-boat, a bridge of river rocks, a faith that's shatter-proof.


20 comments:

  1. I wish I could love perfectly like God too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That God that hasn't forgotten the way things hurt - I'm clinging to that in my waiting room/mothering a special needs child these days. I feel my faith building when I am able to step back and get perspective, but in the moment sometimes all I can grasp is His presence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel every word of this, Sister.
      Praying for you tonight.

      Delete
    2. I love her phrase-- In the moment, sometimes all I can grasp is His presence. So true!

      Delete
  3. FPFG,

    I have been reading your blog for over a year (it might be going on 2, I can't really remember). I just want you to know, I appreciate your writing. I appreciate your willingness to be raw and honest. I appreciate your vulnerability and admire your willingness to put it all out here on the internet for people like me to find.

    Thank you.

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man. Thank you so much for these kind words on my sad night.

      Delete
  4. Yes and amen. The ache of discipleship... I'll be sitting in that for awhile.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us. I too appreciate your honesty, We walk similar paths and it's always refreshing to be reminded we are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thursdays are have always been days of sunshine...as long as I can remember. This Thursday raw, harsh, brittle and raw. Not in terms of weather..it is still a Thursday. Sunshine all day long. I read your post and A Holy Experience. The toothpicks in the small grapevine wreath. A reminder of all of my sins. I appreciate her visuals. I appreciate your open heart. The honesty in your words are like oil to my brow. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "everyday act of shuffling down the buckled sidewalk with another soul could eventually break our hearts"...this. I miss you, friend. Your words tonight are so honest and raw, and I get them. I both love and hate that part, if that makes sense. This kinship with others is wrecking me in the most incredible way. Thinking about you all the time. (I accidentally posted as my husband above...hence the delete :)...cause that would up the creep factor just a twinge...)

    ReplyDelete
  8. my heavy heart needed this tonight. My life and the lives of many in my town have been slammed into a brick wall of difficult- and we gathered in our little church this week, all tear streaks and burdens, and clung to the Jesus who prayed in Gethsemane under a weight we can't even fathom. There are a dozen heartbreaking, hopeless situations in each of our lives- so we cling and gather and lift each other up with weak hands. I cried all the way home tonight, I didn't even know how to pray for the people I wish I could love better. I just needed this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That't so pretty! Makes me smile to know I have Jesus on my side when times are sad.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I cannot imagine weathering this world alone.....without hope, without Jesus! This road is rough, but Jesus is our example, our hope, our light in a dark world.....if He can do what He did - we can do this! Thankful for such a bold community of believers to walk arm in arm with <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. I pray that things look differently in the light of day! I have very recently been right where you were yesterday!

    Selfishly I ask Jesus to come back very soon because there is just so much hurt in the lives of those around me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. In the dark days (and in the sunny ones, too) it is crucial to fill ourselves up with Truth. My favourite verses in recent years have been these ~ Isaiah 43:1-3. It's a precious thing to cast all our cares on Him and trust Him for our very next breath. He is always faithful. Always walking with His people and very often carrying us. One day, He will take us HOME. In the meantime...He calls us to the path we are on and meets us in the moment. All we must face is the moment we are in. With Him. Praying for you....

    ReplyDelete
  13. So raw and so real...Hoping for a sunnier Friday, because through Him there are always sunnier days. Grab on to that Hope and float towards Him.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amen to digging down deep. Its just part of being human to get hung up and pulled down. Jesus wouldn't have to remind us that his yoke is light if he didn't know how heavy it was.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "He didn't ask us to love our neighbor as robots or avatars, or to lurch behind them at a wise distance. He asked us to come beside them, our knees grinding the asphalt, and heave their timber onto our backs. He asked us to hand over our last pieces of bread and let him create magic for all of us."

    Oh, that he would allow us the privilege of walking beside someone, our knees grinding the asphalt, heaving their timber onto our backs.
    The hardest part of all that love is trusting them to Him..to His perfect, unfailing love.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So much to chew on in this post...to quote YOU, "I can't even...." I've come back to read it again today and likely will again tomorrow. Life isn't flannel graph cosy and our views of biblical characters as heroes is well deserved, yet robs us of the humanity that they also lived and struggled through....there's nothing new under the sun, right? Walk your walk, girl and carry on, chin up, eyes to the sky.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Amen. Would that we one day find ourselves able to remember for long enough that he can be trusted with that shard that we are able to resist that urge to grab it right back.

    ReplyDelete